Your Chinchillas’ Health

Knowing what signs to look for and checking your chinchillas regularly will help keep them healthy.

Keeping your chinchillas fit and healthy

Check your chinchillas every day for any signs that they’re unwell. Take your chinchillas to the vet at least once a year. Chinchillas are prey animals so will hide signs of ill-health or pain, so annual vet visits are so important to avoid illness. Chinchillas need specialist care, so try to find a vet with experience in chinchillas.

If your chinchilla’s behaviour or their eating and drinking patterns change, take your chinchilla to the vet as soon as possible. One of the first warning signs to watch out for is a change in their droppings.

Common health problems

Quick tip

Chinchillas don’t pant or sweat so they’re prone to heat exhaustion. House your chinchillas indoors and keep the temperature low, at between 10 – 18 degrees.
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Chinchilla health check

As chinchillas are prey animals, they are likely to hide any signs they are feeling unwell. You know your chinchillas best. If you have any concerns about your chinchillas’ behaviour or their health, get advice from a vet with experience in chinchillas.

Chinchillas need access to a dust bath at least 2-3 times a week – sometimes even daily! If you chinchillas are bathing daily, only let them in their dust bath for 10-15 minutes and watch out for dry skin around their ears. This could be a sign they’re bathing too much. Make sure the sand is very fine and suitable for chinchillas. Don’t put a lid on the dust bath as this stops the air flow. Only use chinchilla-friendly sand, don’t bath your chinchillas in water as this can damage their fur.

Behaviour: The best time to observe your chinchillas is in the evening or at night. Keep an eye out for any signs of stress. This can include hiding, chewing their own or their housemate’s fur, pacing up and down or making lots of noise

Body: When stroking your chinchillas, check for any swellings or lumps and if your chinchillas seem to be in pain when you touch them

Eyes: Check regularly for runny eyes

Feet: Watch out for any injuries to your chinchillas’ feet

Mobility: It’s fun to watch your chinchillas play! When you do, keep an eye out for any signs of limping or if they seem to have less energy than usual

Nose: Make sure there’s no discharge coming from your chinchillas’ noses

Skin and coat: Check regularly for any open wounds or fur loss

Teeth: Keep an eye on your chinchillas’ teeth for any signs they are overgrown or misaligned

chinchilla eating hay (1)

Neutering your chinchillas

It is uncommon to neuter female chinchillas as a spay is a very invasive procedure and is difficult for the female chinchilla to recover from.

If you have a mixed group of male and female chinchillas, the male should be neutered. This is to avoid any unwanted pregnancies and reduce any aggressive behaviour.

Do you need more advice?

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If you should have any concerns about the health of your pet, always consult a vet.